Early postoperative ultrasonographic evaluation of incisional sites in dogs: 15 cases (1990–1992)

Nicholas J. Trout From the Department of Surgery, Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine, North Grafton, MA 01536.

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Dominique G. Penninck From the Department of Surgery, Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine, North Grafton, MA 01536.

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Randy J. Boudrieau From the Department of Surgery, Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine, North Grafton, MA 01536.

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Michele Kudisch From the Department of Surgery, Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine, North Grafton, MA 01536.

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Summary

Ultrasonography of the surgical sites of 15 dogs was performed 3 to 8 days after they underwent major orthopedic surgical procedures. Eight dogs were suspected of having incision-site complications on the basis of localized signs of pain, heat, or swelling and clinical signs of pyrexia, lethargy, or anorexia. Seven dogs had apparently normal healing of the incision. Ultrasonography was used to assess and compare the character of fluid accumulation, to detect fluid accumulation associated with evidence of distal enhancement, and to evaluate gas accumulation and disruption of muscle fibers. Ultrasonography of the 8 dogs with complications of the incision site revealed fluid accumulation (8 dogs), distal enhancement associated with fluid accumulations (2), disruption of muscle fibers (1), and gas accumulation (1). Ultrasonography of the 7 dogs with apparently normal healing of the incisions revealed fluid accumulations (2 dogs), fluid between fascial planes (4), disruption of muscle fibers (1), and gas accumulation (1). Aspirates of fluid were obtained from 7 dogs with suspected incision-site infection. Analysis of results of cytologic evaluation or bacterial culturing confirmed infection in 6 dogs and indicated that 1 dog had a sterile hematoma. Ultrasonography is a sensitive technique for the detection and localization of fluid accumulations; however, the detection of fluid accumulations was not limited to dogs with incision-site complications. Fluid accumulations can be evaluated by use of ultrasound-guided needle aspiration, which has few associated negative side-effects. During the early postoperative period, results for fluid evaluation of samples obtained by use of accurately placed aspiration needles can be used to serve as a guide for further treatment.

Summary

Ultrasonography of the surgical sites of 15 dogs was performed 3 to 8 days after they underwent major orthopedic surgical procedures. Eight dogs were suspected of having incision-site complications on the basis of localized signs of pain, heat, or swelling and clinical signs of pyrexia, lethargy, or anorexia. Seven dogs had apparently normal healing of the incision. Ultrasonography was used to assess and compare the character of fluid accumulation, to detect fluid accumulation associated with evidence of distal enhancement, and to evaluate gas accumulation and disruption of muscle fibers. Ultrasonography of the 8 dogs with complications of the incision site revealed fluid accumulation (8 dogs), distal enhancement associated with fluid accumulations (2), disruption of muscle fibers (1), and gas accumulation (1). Ultrasonography of the 7 dogs with apparently normal healing of the incisions revealed fluid accumulations (2 dogs), fluid between fascial planes (4), disruption of muscle fibers (1), and gas accumulation (1). Aspirates of fluid were obtained from 7 dogs with suspected incision-site infection. Analysis of results of cytologic evaluation or bacterial culturing confirmed infection in 6 dogs and indicated that 1 dog had a sterile hematoma. Ultrasonography is a sensitive technique for the detection and localization of fluid accumulations; however, the detection of fluid accumulations was not limited to dogs with incision-site complications. Fluid accumulations can be evaluated by use of ultrasound-guided needle aspiration, which has few associated negative side-effects. During the early postoperative period, results for fluid evaluation of samples obtained by use of accurately placed aspiration needles can be used to serve as a guide for further treatment.

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